1. Is the company Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
Check with the Registrar of Contractors at http://www.rc.state.az.us/ If a builder is not Licensed, there is no recourse through the state of Arizona. This site will also allow you to check any recent complaints. CAUTION: if it is a new pool builder, there may not be ample time in business for complaints to surface.
Search under the company name, but also under the names of the principals of the company.

2. Is the price substantially lower than other bids?
Newer companies tend to have lower prices for several reasons. Possibly, they don’t have the longevity or experience to know the true costs of running a successful construction business (overhead, warranties, etc.). They may be able to build a nice pool, but will not have the necessary cash reserves to keep the doors open when the business slows down or warranty work eats up their minimal profit. Or, they have no plans to be around 3 years from now.

One example we have seen many times in the valley are from companies being owned by particular individuals who have already gone out of business under several different company names. They know how to penetrate the market on price and collect the money….it’s the staying open that seems to elude them. Not only is this bad for the consumers, it has the trickle down effect of putting a lot of honest people out of business.

3. Is the pool design professional and comprehensive with measurements that are accurate?
If you are given a sketch that could have been done on the back of a napkin…BEWARE. The same expertise and consideration will be given to the building of your pool.

4. Who is the Qualifying Party for the license?
It is important to know that the owner of the company also has the appropriate expertise in the industry and can resolve any issues that may arise during and after the construction of your pool.

5. Is the owner of the company accessable?
Ask if you can have the phone number of the owner. This will tell you how much you can trust the company to be accountable for any issues that may arise.

6. How many people will you be dealing with after the contract is signed? And will the sales person be on site during the construction in case there are any misunderstandings between what you were sold and what is being built?
Let’s face it. Salespeople are commissioned and earn their living by getting contracts. It is a good indication that you can trust the integrity of the company to deliver on what was sold if your salesperson is going to be there throughout the process to ensure your satisfaction.

7. Is everything you are promised in WRITING and in the contract?
If it isn’t in writing, there is no recourse. The state of Arizona can only enforce what is written in the contract. Read it carefully.

8. Is the record with the Better Business Bureau and the Registrar of Contractors clean?
While misunderstandings or defects can always occur during construction, it is how a company responds to the complaint that defines them. If there are any issues, check to make sure they were resolved.

9. Is the builder willing to give references?
Any good company will gladly give out a referral list. Be sure to call several different previous customers.

10. How long has the company been in business?
The financial stability and reputation of a company can only be discovered over time.

11. Do you feel comfortable with the sales person and the staff?
Trust your intuition after checking out all the facts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.